The intersection of search engine optimization (SEO) and branding are inevitable. Both SEO and branding are ideal candidates for each other and rely heavily on user engagement to measure their expanse and reach.
Each (branding and SEO) are important to your core marketing strategy and the more you have of each, the more continuity and exposure your business can attract to reach a broader audience. Instead of delving into some shelved theory about online marketing that has not been repackaged, thought of, spoken about or embraced in some way shape or form, on the contrary reducing noise to simplicity is a great way to refocus and refine your proposition.
Understanding your audience is the first and last thing you should be concerned with when it comes to marketing. Without knowing who your audience is, or what they want, you cannot possibly fulfill their needs.
It’s easy to get “caught up in the process” to the extent that you forget what it is that motivated you to take that direction in the first place. Keywords matter, but finding the right audience is far more important.
Search engine optimization is the process of consolidating refinements based on coherence, continuity, removing obscure (out of place) elements within a website (content, site structure or otherwise) and having the ability to highlight and communicate your offer / value proposition to potential consumers succinctly with each page.
Offer the wrong thing to the wrong person or personality type your brand or website suffers. Targeting the wrong audience (like trying to sell a turbo-charged engine to the women above enjoying a great conversation about fashion) is in fact what many websites are doing unconsciously as a result of not refining their message to embrace their core audience.
Branding as defined in Wikipedia – “A brand is a collection of images and ideas representing an economic producer; more specifically, it refers to the concrete symbols such as a name, logo, slogan, and design scheme. Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the accumulation of experiences with the specific product or service, both directly relating to its use, and through the influence of advertising, design, and media commentary.”.
Much like branding and brand value, search engines use folksonomy (collaborative tagging) to identify which market segments are summoned by the unique buzz words, descriptions and associated action words and definitions as seen by the masses (indirectly as a result of social and cultural population stereotypes).
Naturally, the process is organic, company observes industry, company uses most traversed analogy of keywords (concepts) to identify and enter the arena of attention and mind-share for the said industry, company offers product or service in industry or niche and attempts to build recognition, visibility and exposure as a leader in the said industry to achieve return on investment and sustenance.
Much in the same way with search engine optimization, the synopsis has a pronounced similarity. Your content gives you the ability to scale, refine or specialize in one or several distinct topics or markets (based on the scope of expertise, usefulness or popularity).
Company sees opportunity, invests in continuity through branding i.e. “content development” to communicate the benefits of usage, company uses current modalities of thought to reach prospects while attempting to garner exposure through keywords and positioning to achieve saturation.
The main consideration is to realize that the audience you seek is multifaceted, so if your are still looking at just keywords alone for salvation when it comes to making an impact with your brand or your search engine optimization, there is one thing that should define your proposition, the infusion of emotion, preferences and persona.
Keywords are just a means to an end, emotion is the key. If prospect A is interested in high performance products for automobiles, then they are most likely interested in Racing or other related markets that intersect with the subject. The idea here is don’t sell yourself short by thinking of people as mindless mechanical robots who purchase blindly, but on the contrary people who are passionate about their interests tend to make intelligent decisions and can see through a paper-thin plot.
So, if you really are trying to appeal to the thought-leaders and trend setters to embrace your brand or website to take it to the next level of popularity, acceptance and engagement. Make a truly compelling offer and realize that your message (each page) should transcend one dimensional fragments and embrace each genre as a multi-dimensional opportunity (holistically). So when looking for emotional triggers, you won’t have to look long or hard for inspiration.
Performing keyword research and developing scalable content from that level, a solid knowledge base with a stable of appealing landing pages, compelling images and offers tailored to appeal to the emotion of the group persona have a higher propensity for engagement than any stale offer based on the “me too mentality”.
The keywords you choose and the content you develop online are your brand, so what are you saying to the masses when it comes to your online reputation? Shallow, rudimentary and rushed vs. relaxed, confident and composed? which would you prefer to proceed you?